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Mission of Love in Quarantine

So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” – Deuteronomy 10:19

This is the anchor verse that Indra and Estherhold very closely to their hearts.  

Showing love to foreigners in a strange land is what compels their ministry as a husband-and-wife team leading Covenant EFC’s Indonesian Fellowship. 

But during this pandemic, how could this possibly come about in this time of restricted physical gatherings?   

Open Doors

God opened the doors. In January this year, there were increasing numbers of Indonesian domestic workers being temporarily quarantined at Community Care Facilities after testing positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.  

From the perspective of these domestic workers, it is certainly fearful enough to arrive in a new country not knowing what to expect. Compounded with the fear of COVID-19 and being quarantined in unfamiliar quarters, it was a very difficult time for many of them.

Through divine connections, Project Nurisa was born.

Project Nurisa, an engagement programme for these domestic workers, aims to love and give hope through befriending. This Covenant-led humanitarian initiative was done in collaboration with other churches’ Indonesian fellowship network. Aside from Indra and Esther, it is supported by 18 other volunteers.

“When these domestic workers get quarantined, they are not able to do much. We want to reach out and listen to their stories using their own language. They can share a lot more when they are able to do so in their native tongue,” Esther said.

It is held online every week and comprises several activities ranging from art therapy in stress management, basic English lessons, talks on family financial management and Right’s Protection by Indonesian Embassy, among others.

Seeing God Work

Through this humanitarian work, Indra and Esther believe that it opened another platform for them to share God’s love — whether by lending a listening ear or helping them process their personal struggles 
 
It really warms and encourages the volunteers when the domestic workers are so receptive to us. In all of these, we really see how God works, Esther shared.   
 
She smiled as she recalled a divine encounter where one of the ladies opened up for deeper conversation. Over time, this worker was keen to understand more. This was one of the many joyous moments experienced over the past months. 

Facing Constraints

Things were not all smooth-sailingThere were certainly challenges faced over the course of the project such as coming up with an engaging programme curriculum, tight resource planning, finding suitable speakers, and gathering sufficient volunteers within a stipulated time frame 
 
However, Indra and Esther recognised that this was not about them. It wasn’t about the fatigue or the constraints. It was ultimately about God  sharing His love and doing His Kingdom work. 

Ongoing Mission of Love

With this in mind, Project Nurisa is designed to be an ongoing humanitarian outreach. Along with other volunteers, the couple continued keeping in close contact with the domestic workers through Whatsapp and Facebook groups even after their departure from the facilities.   

Through this project, both Indra and Esther’s eyes were opened to the many more in need. This leaves us with a sobering reminder that missions can always start from home — and our home mission is to love people. 

“We thank God for this opportunity that we can have an additional avenue to serve, love others and give hope. As we serve and show God’s love, we ourselves receive joy from the Lord,” the couple reflected. 

What’s the first step we can take? “Be sensitive to the needs of others around you, and be ready to step up and help when the need arises,” said Indra.

 


Grace Tan

Grace Tan worships at BPJ Centre, and enjoys a good read, the sounds of nature and a night breeze. She is presently serving in the CG and Hokkien Ministry.

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
John 8:12-29; 17:1-8
Thu, 30 June 2022

To Glorify God in the Marketplace

Observation:

What did Jesus mean when He said, “I always do the things that are pleasing to Him” (v.29)?

Deeper Reflection
THE LORD JESUS HAD A CLEAR PURPOSE IN HIS LIFE AND ministry while on earth. It was to do the Father’s will and accomplish the mission that the Father had given Him. Jesus had a singular focus on, and an unwavering commitment to, His mission. Jesus told people that He was the light of the world − the only way to salvation and eternal life (vv.12, 23-24). He revealed the Father to the people (v.19). He spoke what the Father wanted Him to tell the people (vv.26-28). By keeping mission clear, mission focused and mission true, Jesus brought glory to His Father (Jn 17:1-4). How can we do likewise in our life and ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ?The word “ministry” comes from the Greek word diakonia69, which can also be translated as “service”. Our work in the marketplace is our service to God and to the people whom our work touches. Our work and the interactions with people that it entails are therefore rightly to be considered our marketplace ministry. Christians are during the workweek primarily marketplace ministers, or God’s servants in the marketplace. In all that we do and say, we represent God and serve God. In our interactions with people, we are to (just like Jesus) tell them the Father’s plan of salvation in the Son, reveal the Father and speak the words that the Father wants us to tell them. If we do none of these in the marketplace, we are not mission clear, mission focused and mission true. For Jesus sent His disciples to continue His mission until He returns (Jn 20:21).
69 For example, Ephesians 4:12.
Application:

What must I do now so that at the end of my present life I can also say (like Jesus) to the Father, “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave me to do” (Jn 17:4)?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Outreach/Missions/New Life leaders: To always seek to please and glorify God in their life and ministry
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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